Friday, December 21, 2012

English Tea Cakes

This is another recipe that has been passed on to her. She got her a taste of these cookies when a friend made them the first year she lived in Germany. She said she had to have the recipe and has been making them every Christmas since.

About 30 cookies:

2 cups sifted flour (2 cups after sifting)
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground nuts (typically walnuts)
2 egg yolks (save the whites!!)

Preheat the oven to 352 F (about 160 C)

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks and mix. Slowly add the flour. Mix until everything is combined well.

Form into balls (the size is really up to you, we made ours about 1 inch in diameter)

Roll the dough balls in the egg whites (that is why keeping them is important!) and then in the ground nuts. We could not find walnuts at our local store so we used hazelnut this time...honestly, when it is ground so fine you can't really tell what type of nut it is).

Place the finished dough balls on a cookie sheet (either leave ungreased or use parchment paper).

Bake five minutes, remove from the oven, and use your thumb or a teaspoon to dent each cookie. The dent does not have to be too deep, but deep enough to hold icing later.

~If you want to do this the lazy way, dent your cookies before baking~

Bake another 15 minutes. It is hard to tell when these cookies are done because they do not get brown. You just have to trust that if 18 minutes have gone by and you still can't really tell, they are probably finished.

Remove and let cool completely before icing.


1/4 cup butter (softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs cream or milk
Food coloring of choice (or leave them white = boring!)

Cream the butter and powder sugar together. Add the milk and vanilla and the food coloring of choice.

We usually stick to Christmas colors (red or green). This year our red looked more pink... oops!

Using a knife, spread the icing into the dent of each cookie. The icing should not be so thick that this is too hard to do but not so runny that it gets all over.

Two years ago she made these cookies and decorated them with green icing and a walnut piece. She then made little homemade baggies and gave them to colleagues. They made easy but very nice looking Christmas gifts.